I went back to Philadelphia this winter to clean out 31 years of living from our big house on south 2nd Street and put it on the market. Both Zack and Dorsche had been living there with their partners and dogs but easily found other places and moved out. I was left alone in the house with Craig’s List, Goodwill and Thrift for AIDS as my best buddies for help. It went quickly at first, things began to disappear. Three men arrived and managed to move the piano out the front door, an antique dealer from New Jersey took a truckload, the kids divided up what they wanted in huge piles, I found a young man to take boxes and boxes of books, I took games and toys around the corner to the neighborhood center, and it began to look a little clear. We brought in a man to clean out the piles of stuff in the basement, but the morning he was coming I took one last look and found the wooden rocking horse Grandpa had made for Dorsche so moved it to the front window.
He came back a week later and tore out all the walls on the 2nd and 3rd floors so there was once again the loft space we had imagined.
And I began moping and polishing floors – then the snow arrived and with it salt on the sidewalks which was constantly tracked onto my clean red floors. So I moped and polished again and again.
I tried to sell the house myself and had a lot of lookers but no one came up with an offer near what several real estate agents thought I should ask. So a few days before I was scheduled to return to Mexico I signed papers with a real estate agent who is very active in South Philly. She listed it without a photo on Wednesday morning (the day after I left) and went to the property to take pictures. While there she got a call from another real estate agent who had a client interested and sent them over. The short story is that they fell in love with the place, paid full asking price and two months later I returned for settlement. They plan to live in the house, making some changes like building a couple bedrooms, but will leave the lofts and the brick walls. We are all delighted but sad to leave the place that held so much of our lives.